Hi-COLA: Fast, approximate simulations of structure formation in Horndeski gravity

Bill S. Wright, Ashim Sen Gupta*, Tessa Baker, Georgios Valogiannis, Bartolomeo Fiorini

*Corresponding author for this work

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We introduce Hi-COLA, a code designed to run fast, approximate N-body simulations of non-linear structure formation in reduced Horndeski gravity. Given an input Lagrangian, Hi-COLA dynamically constructs the appropriate field equations and consistently solves for the cosmological background, linear growth, and screened fifth force of that theory. Hence Hi-COLA is a general, adaptable, and useful tool that allows the mildly non-linear regime of many Horndeski theories to be investigated for the first time, at low computational cost. In this work, we first describe the screening approximations and simulation setup of Hi-COLA for theories with Vainshtein screening. We validate the code against traditional N-body simulations for cubic Galileon gravity, finding 2.5% agreement up to kmax = 1.2 h/Mpc. To demonstrate the flexibility of Hi-COLA, we additionally run the first simulations of an extended shift-symmetric gravity theory. We use the consistency and modularity of Hi-COLA to dissect how the modified background, linear growth, and screened fifth force all contribute to departures from ΛCDM in the non-linear matter power spectrum. Hi-COLA can be found at https://github.com/Hi-COLACode/Hi-COLA.
Original languageEnglish
Article number040
Number of pages53
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number03
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2023


  • astro-ph.CO
  • cosmological simulations
  • Gauss-Bonnet-Lovelock-Horndeski-Palatini etc gravity theories
  • modified gravity
  • power spectrum
  • UKRI
  • STFC

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